Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by a special species of mosquito. It causes a severe flu-like illness with sudden onset of fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain. Rash can also develop 3 to 5 days after the fever.
Spontaneous recovery usually occurs, although recovery may be prolonged. Rarely, it may lead to a severe and fatal haemorrhagic disease. There is no specific treatment.
Dengue fever is endemic in most tropical countries of South Pacific, Asia, the Caribbean Basin, Mexico, Central and South America and Africa. Recently, there is an increasing incidence throughout Asia and Africa.
The mosquitoes usually bite humans during the daytime especially early morning and late afternoon.
They are found in or near human habitations, especially indoors or shady areas.
There is no vaccine for Dengue Fever. Travellers to endemic areas should take every precaution to avoid mosquito bites especially during the day time.
Travellers should seek medical advice if they develop any acute illness occurring within 1 month after returning from an endemic area.